PARTING THOUGHTS: MUST READ, IN-DEPTH LOOK AT THE 2013 SEASON, PLAYERS & TEAM
In order to make sure Florida Gators-related news stories don't fall through the cracks, once or twice a week Orange & Blue News will keep you up-to-date with the latest goings on in the world of University of Florida athletics.
Gators head basketball coach Billy Donovan led the United States under-18 men's team to three blowout victories over the weekend in the 2014 FIBA Americas U18 Championship. The Americans whipped up on Uruguay 156-58 on Friday, beat Mexico 100-46 on Saturday and dominated Argentina 118-64 on Sunday. USA set four team national records in its opening game including most points scored (156), largest margin of victory (98 points), most field goals made (59) and most assists (40). "The guys did a good job tonight," Donovan said on Sunday. "I think during our last three games, we've gotten better in some areas and we got a chance to learn in some other areas, so we're excited that we've been able to move on and advance to the medal round." The United States clinched a semifinal appearance in the FIBA Americas as well as and berth in the 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship with its victory on Saturday. The Americans will square off against the Dominican Republic on Monday at 7:30 p.m. for the opportunity to advance to the finals and potentially win a gold medal. Donovan is now 17-0 as a USA Basketball coach.
Although the 2014 NBA Draft is still a three days away, the league is also buzzing with a ton of news and rumors about current players. Two of the hottest somewhat involve some former Florida basketball players. As Golden State looks to deal for prize forward Kevin Love, power forward David Lee has seemingly been cemented as a piece of a potential trade with the rest of the assets being offered shifting back and forth during negotiations. Houston's decision not to pick up the option on the rookie contract of F Chandler Parsons was due in large part to the Rockets' desire to open up salary cap space to make a run at free agent F Carmelo Anthony. Whether or not Houston lands Anthony or another prized free agent, the Rockets will have the ability to match any deal offered to Parsons, who is a restricted free agent. Parsons remains in Houston's long-term plans, and he would certainly be a huge piece to a pie that could potentially include Anthony, James Harden and Dwight Howard.
The Gators saw two players named to the U.S. Women's National Team for softball as sophomore Kelsey Stewart joined former Florida outfielder Michelle Moultrie on the 17-player roster. This will be Moultrie's second go-around but Stewart's first chance to participate in the World Cup of Softball in California (July 7-12) and ISF Women's World Championships in the Netherlands (Aug. 12-24).
On the road in Boston, Gators center Patric Young will be participating in his second-to-last team visit when he checks in with the Celtics on Monday. Young will then meet with the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday before flying home to Jacksonville, Florida, and getting situated ahead of the NBA Draft on Thursday night. All indications are that Young is considered one of the top four centers available in the draft and will likely go off the board somewhere between picks 27-40 (bottom of the first round to early in the second round). Young will have visited 13 teams in total after he completes his workout on Tuesday and has plenty of other interested parties as well. He has already met with Phoenix, San Antonio, Philadelphia, Chicago, New York, Oklahoma City, Utah, Dallas, Minnesota, Houston and the L.A. Clippers.
Recently, ESPN posted a factually incorrect graphic on its airwaves showing 17 former Florida football players on the 2008 roster that were drafted and have started at least one game in the NFL. Here is how the numbers actually break down for that championship-winning Gators team. Florida had 19 players on that roster drafted including six first-round picks and five second-round picks; 10 of those 11 are still in the league (Tim Tebow being the outlier). Two of those 11 players selected in the first two rounds do not represent UF in the NFL as Cam Newton entered from Auburn and Janoris Jenkins from North Alabama. Six of the other eight players drafted are still in the league with Aaron Hernandez and Ahmad Black the only ones that have lost their jobs, obviously for very different reasons. The Gators also had 11 players signed from that roster as undrafted free agents, eight of which have played in the league. The other three are all currently on NFL rosters but have just not had the opportunity to see the field - Frankie Hammond on the Kansas City practice squad, Lerentee McCray on Denver's injured reserve, Matt Patchan picked up as a rookie by Tampa Bay.